I planned to do a major part of my holiday baking on Saturday, but the weather outsmarted me. Sunday we had planned to go out-of-town but the weather kept us home from that too. So we outsmarted the weather and baked on Sunday instead.
This was my first attempt to make biscotti, and I don't plan to wait too long before I make it again. I found the recipe in a cookbook I bought at the library's used book sale. There are so many good recipes in there I could probably make cookies once a week all year and never repeat one.
(click on this title to go to the book at Amazon.com. There are copies for sale there for seven cents! Amazing).
2/3 cup butter (did we measure exactly? Well no, but this is what the recipe calls for)
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla (we used my homemade--yum)
4 cups all-purpose flour (we used unbleached)
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate pieces, melted and cooled (we cooled it a little, not much)
1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts ( had black walnuts so we used them instead--delicious!)
1 tablespoon finely shredded orange peel
In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high for 30 seconds (we were at my son's house, no mixer; insert strong arms and much beating). Add sugar, baking powder, and salt; beat until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer (ha!). Stir in remaining flour.
Divide the dough in half. Place half in another bowl. Into half of the dough stir the melted chocolate and 1/2 cup of the nuts. Into the other half of the dough, stir the orange peel and the remaining nuts.
Divide each half of the dough into 3 portions. Withe lightly floured hands, shape each portion into a rope about 14 inches long. Place a rope of each color side by side on an ungreased cookie sheet. Twist ropes around each other several times. Flatten slightly to a 2-inch width. (Well, we missed this twisting and flattening part completely, which might be why some of our loaves didn't hold together well, but separated into two parts--which were still delicious. But mind you do this part--there's a reason for it!). Repeat with other ropes, placing twists about 4 inches apart on the cookie sheet.
Back biscotti in a 375 -degree oven about 25 minutes or until lightly browned, Cool on cookie sheet for 1 hour or until completely cool.
Transfer loaves to a cutting board. Cut each loaf crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Lay slices, cut side down on the cookie sheet. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 10 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake for 10-15 minutes more or until dry and crisp.. Transfer cookies to a wire rack.; cool.
Makes about 70 (delicious!) biscotti.
That's one of the three recipes we tried from this cookbook and I will be making more in the days ahead. The directions are simple and easy to follow, even if I did sort of skip one part. You won't do that. The photos are beautiful. And for SEVEN cents? Good grief, get a copy!